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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even the most incorruptible can be tempted...
I have to address my love for this graphic novel. It's a really well paced, and entertaining. There are criticisms, some justified, some not (MAYBE SPOILERS?);

1)Failure to save the little girl despite having the 'gadgets' can be explained as this is only the fourth 'Legend of the Dark Knight' story, so the lack of tools is because we are shown a young...
Published 16 months ago by Oliver Reed

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Venomous
In the hands of Denny O'Neil, Batman is rendered totally out of character and becomes barely readable. He isn't the worst Batman writer I've read but he's definitely down there as one of the worst and "Batman: Venom" is a disaster.

Batman tries to save a little girl from drowning except a giant rock stands in between them. The rock is too heavy, he's...
Published 20 months ago by Sam Quixote


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even the most incorruptible can be tempted..., 16 April 2013
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This review is from: Batman Venom TP New Edition (Paperback)
I have to address my love for this graphic novel. It's a really well paced, and entertaining. There are criticisms, some justified, some not (MAYBE SPOILERS?);

1)Failure to save the little girl despite having the 'gadgets' can be explained as this is only the fourth 'Legend of the Dark Knight' story, so the lack of tools is because we are shown a young batman.

2)Batman written out of character can be explained by the personality affecting drugs which are VERY STRONG and he has been taking for at least THREE MONTHS.

3)The fact he is so distraught over the girls death is self-explanatory, as well as the fact that early batman would find it difficult to come to terms with letting a drowning girl die, let alone any other man.

4)Perhaps he should have picked up on the Father's unsympathetic response, however Batman is so distraught on what he let happen that he may have been a little distracted to notice details such as that

5)Alfred coming with him on the island is the only thing that didn't make sense to me, but may be due to the fact that he needed someone to fly him there, and Batman is not yet a confident flyer...

For all the questionable points, there are more amazing moments to counteract. The writing for Alfred is nailed in this than most others. He is a witty character who maintains Batman's life, exchanges conversation to help boost his thought process, and tries to be a moral compass, suggesting to read when Batman is physically obsessed and shows his displeasure when Batman crosses the line peacefully. Tears welled up in scene where he is standing outside the Batcave, helping Batman with the addiction - Worth it for this scene ALONE!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Venomous, 23 Dec 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Batman - Venom (Paperback)
In the hands of Denny O'Neil, Batman is rendered totally out of character and becomes barely readable. He isn't the worst Batman writer I've read but he's definitely down there as one of the worst and "Batman: Venom" is a disaster.

Batman tries to save a little girl from drowning except a giant rock stands in between them. The rock is too heavy, he's unable to lift it, and the girl dies. This sends Bruce into a guilt spiral and the first thing he does when he returns home is guess the weight of the rock - 680 pounds - then try to lift it, failing again, and tearing an arm muscle. He then decides to go after the girl's kidnappers in his weakened state and once the two goons realise his arm's damaged, they take advantage of it and overpower him. Humiliated, he goes to the girl's father who turns out to be a mad scientist who's created a super-steroid called Venom which Batman decides to take because he feels bad about the dead girl and being beaten up by two goons.

That's the setup and there's soooo much wrong with it. First off, as any reader of Batman knows, he has a lot of really useful stuff in his utility belt - why wouldn't he have something in there for dealing with solid obstructions like the big rock? And why does he react so badly to the girl's death? She can't have been the first, he must have lost people he's tried to save before, so to take it this badly is really strange. Then the two goons who manage to beat him up - even if one of his arms is damaged, no way could two faceless thugs, out of the thousands of faceless thugs Batman has defeated, get the drop on him in a fight. And then after that he immediately starts taking illegal drugs. It doesn't make sense. Everything about this setup is unbelievable because it's so arbitrary.

Then when Bruce becomes hooked, he lets the doctor tell him what to do otherwise he withholds the drugs despite the fact that Bruce could simply overpower him and take the drugs. Even though at this point Bruce has become totally unreasonable, wandering out at night and beating up anyone, regardless of whether they've committed a crime or not, while spewing some neo-fascist garbage 21st century Frank Miller would write like "The weaklings, the snivelers, who've let the city become a sewer because they're afraid to do what has to be done", he could still kidnap the doctor, take him back to the cave and force him to churn out drugs for him. In Denny O'Neil's version of Batman, it'd be plausible, but for some reason Batman allows himself to be played like a puppet by this guy, giving him the chance to leave - for Santa Prisca. Duh duh duuuuuh.

Santra Prisca is where Bane lives, the villain whose super-strength derives from Venom. He is the only reason for the doctor and a stereotypical Army General to go there because there's no reason given by any of the characters why they've chosen it for a destination. Maybe O'Neil wanted to squeeze in some casual racism - one of the island's girls says to the General's good-natured but goofy son "Teem... I don' theenk I wan' see you no more" (Tim, I don't think I want to see you anymore) - and needed a place to stage a shark attack?

Also when Batman goes to Santa Prisca, he takes Alfred with him. There is absolutely no reason for Alfred to go with Bruce on this trip. He adds nothing except company - maybe Bruce really needed someone to talk to on this trip? - and serves literally as bait for the shark which lures Bruce out in the open to save Alfred. And one final thing about Alfred - he wears his butler uniform when they take this trip! Does he not own any other clothes besides that uniform? He doesn't own a pair of cords and a shirt?

And as for the shark fight, if you're writing a semi-serious tale of drug addiction, having Batman fight a shark in the middle of it kind of makes light of the seriousness of the subject as any kind of dangerous animal fighting has a carnival-esque feel to it. But is this really about drug addiction? Besides Batman taking pills for a while, O'Neil really doesn't have anything to say about addiction besides a) it briefly changes your personality and b) you need to go cold turkey and grow an Alan Moore beard to get over it. Anything else O'Neil? Nope. So the book fails as a story about addiction. Batman gets hooked, then doesn't, the end. Real insightful.

But the one thing I know for sure it's about, as every Batman book is about, is entertainment and the book fails at this the most. The book is really, really boring. The writing, poor characterisation, dull plot, and bad treatment of everything makes for an incredibly tedious read. "Batman: Venom" isn't the worst Batman book I've read but it's down there with "The Cult", "Secrets" and "Odyssey" and should definitely be avoided, as I will be avoiding any other Batman books with Denny O'Neil's name on them.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman at his lowest, comics at their finest., 9 Sep 2003
By 
This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
Collecting the original story arc from 'Legends of the Dark Knight' #16 to #20, this is certainly one of the great Batman stories. The writer, Dennis O'Neil, has a really solid understanding of the character and sets up a convincing series of events and choices that lead to Batman developing a drug addiction. The conclusion, where our hero resolves to bring to justice those who caused him harm drives right to the heart of Batman's origins whilst the ending leaves you to question the price that he has been forced to pay in his nightly quest.There is also plenty of action, handled superbly by the artistic team of Trevor Von Eeden (layouts), Russell Braun (pencil art), and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (inker), really making you feel the weight of the rocks and the speed of the van chases. These action scenes are a vital part of the story with Batman not always coming out on top, leeding both the character and reader to question whether he will make it past that next goon or stop that approaching shark. His decision to take a performance enhancing drug can be sympathised with thanks to some terrific writing from the author.In short this book is a must have for any comics fan. It takes the high-speed cliffhanger action scenes of the past and merges them perfectly with the adult themes and character driven plots of the modern age. You will not be dissappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, read it, 24 May 2013
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This review is from: Batman Venom TP New Edition (Paperback)
This book is definitely worth a try, the storyline is great, very enjoyable, the characters are likable and funny when needed, the art is fantastic, it’s good to look at. I recommend this book to anyone who loves comics or just interested in getting to know the genre.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wow, where do I start., 12 Mar 2013
By 
Shel (North East England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Batman Venom TP New Edition (Paperback)
I've heard how notoriously bad this was but I wasn't expecting THIS bad. First of all I'll start off with the positive: the art is good, the panels are laid out well and action generally flows well, the artist does successfully manage to pull off a lot of the absurdities in Denny O'Neil's script without making the scenes laughable (no such luck with the dialogue) and the colouring is nice especially considering how much mediocre colouring was going on in this early nineties period.

Where the comics suffers is from one of the worst scripts I've read outside of the 1960's period which writer O'Neil seems to have set this Batman story; complete with shark attack and shark repellent, OK maybe that part was written as a sly nod towards the Adam West Batman series but that does not explain for the rest of the script nor why they thought the shark attack was worth depicting on the cover of Issue #19.

The main meat of the storyline deals with an [out of character] Batman being unable to save a drowning girl as he is unable to lift a heavy rock to get to her, he has an [again uncharacteristic] rant at Alfred and goes to inform the father of his daughter's death, the father is beyond unsympathetic to as not blink an eyelid when informed of her death (which the normal Batman, the world's greatest detective, would immediately see as suspect) but instead explains, conveniently, about his new super drugs which gives the user superhuman strength, [in character] Batman throws the drugs back in the man's face and leaves. To cut a [very] long story short Batman has more rants at Alfred until he quits and chooses to start taking the drug, he drops use of the Bat suit, starts taking out criminals and is given stereotypical `roid rage traits and is constantly shown as a foaming user scrambling for his next fix. Now the whole addict storyline is a noble thing, and O'Neil explains in the preface is a personal story, but it was told much better by Stan Lee in Amazing Spider-Man 20 years earlier through Harry Osborn's drug use, here it just doesn't work as the story relies on the Batman that we know and love to act completely out of character to facilitate the cycle of addiction. If Denny wanted to tell this story then he should have told it via a DC character that works, editorial should have rejected these scripts outright.

The dialogue is laughably dumb, and character interactions are constantly out of character. This whole thing would have been forgivable as a "story of its time" if this had popped up in a Batman Showcase book of 1960's stories but this was originally published in 1991! Both comic book writing and the Batman character had come a long way in that time.

DC should keep this out of print so people forget about this faux Batman tale.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth skipping, 7 May 2012
By 
Paul McNamee "Rambleast Reviews" (North Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Batman - Venom (Paperback)
DC's efforts to reprint a lot of books that have been for many years unavailable is commendable, but occasionally it affords a non-classic such as this compilation of Legends Of The Dark Knight issues from the early 1990s to slip back into regular circulation.

Venom concerns the at-this-stage-unnamed drug of the same name and Batman's temporary addiction to it after he's unable to save a child from drowning. The story deals with how his guilt manifests as a desire to improve with the titular drug (made famous by Bane in later tales) taking a hold on his already fragile mind and making him considerably stronger at the expense of being nice to Alfred and generally acting like a bit of a jerk.

To be honest, this sort of story was en vogue at the time. After A Death in the Family and as per the remit of the post-Miller grim and grit landscape of US comics, a great deal of Batman arcs delighted in breaking him in ways he'd not been broken before. Coming before the natural, physical culmination of this approach to storytelling in Knightfall, this story feels an awful lot like the largely superior The Cult in which Batman is challenged mentally and suffers a similar breakdown to the one that dominates the middle third of Venom. Venom is by no means terrible, but it's definitely a little overfamiliar and by no means necessary.

This most recent publication ties into the upcoming release of The Dark Knight Rises inasmuch as there's the vaguest link to that film's Big Bad, the aforementioned Bane. In terms of new content, there's nothing. Thankfully, the original covers are presented where they should be (at the front of their respective issues - see, DC, it's not that hard...) but there's nothing else to upgrade for if you have the older, pink-background-covered edition (the cover of which is sadly not reproduced here.) No introduction, no prelim sketches, nothing. The book is printed on glossy paper which as far I can can glean from trawling the forums recently may annoy certain purists, but personally I think it suits the tonally washed out art from the period. Denny O'Neil's writing is at times as little goofy but overall the dialogue is as you might expect from him, if a little less verbose than in his 70s heydey. In short: entertaining, not vital.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Batman fights a shark, 27 April 2012
This review is from: Batman Venom TP New Edition (Paperback)
Ive heard a lot of good things about this story and been after it for quite some time, finally I got it today and its a bit of a letdown. The story opens with Batman trying to save a little girl from drowning in a tunnel and quite shockingly he fails, its incredibly dark and makes it much more convincing when Batman starts using the steroids Venom to increase his strength later in the story. One early scene sees Batman visit the dead girls father to deliver the news of her death in an almost comical manner he tells him she died "alone and in fear" good choice of words Batman!
The story of the addiction and Batmans struggle to go cold turkey are all nicely done but the final part of the story sees Batman hunt down the people who gave him the drugs and this is where it falls apart, in one scene Batman fights a shark, that pretty much says it all although it is fun to see him in a jungle enviroment away from Gotham.
The set up for the story is so good its easy to see why its considered a classic but the end result is flawed mainly due to the final act being so naff, still it does lead to Knightfall and is another story from Batmans early career along with the long halloween, snow and gothic that are worth a read.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prelude to "Broken Bat"., 20 Aug 2004
By 
This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
A very dark and gritty Batman Graphic novel. It deals with Batman becoming addicted to 'Venom', the same artificial steroid that Bane uses during his quest to destroy'The Bat' in Knightfall.
It is set quite early in the Batman History (James Gordon still being a mere Captain, as opposed to commisioner). Batman fails to save a young girl from drowning after she's been kidknapped and placed in a collapsing tunnel under Gotham River.
Batman is devastated, after giving the news to the girls father, a chemist, he is offerred a 'designer drug' to make him stronger.
As mentioned, this is a very dark and gritty story, one of the darkest and most thought-provoking stories that I've read featuring Batman. It is well drawn and is a must if you enjoyed the epic "Knightsfall/end" story arc.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!, 31 Oct 2007
This review is from: Batman: Venom (Paperback)
This is an incredible comic. Watch as Bruce Wayne becomes addicted to super powerful steroids! I don't want to ruin the story too much for people who haven't read it yet so I won't say too much more, except that Batman becomes beefier than Arnie and more psycho than the Joker.
One of my favourite ever Batman comics!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman with a beard, 25 July 2013
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This review is from: Batman Venom TP New Edition (Paperback)
Batman gets weird in this one. No spoilers, but depressed Bruce Wayne with a gigantic beard is pretty damn epic.
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Batman Venom TP New Edition
Batman Venom TP New Edition by Dennis O'Neil (Paperback - 18 April 2012)
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